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Voice of America, 97-10-09

Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>


CONTENTS

  • [01] CZECH / SLOVAK BY ART CHIMES (PRAGUE)
  • [02] EURO STOCKS (S-ONLY) BY PAUL FRANCUCH (LONDON)
  • [03] ITALY / POLITICS (L-ONLY) BY PEGGY POLK (ROME)
  • [04] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [05] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [06] RUSSIA/SOROS (L ONLY) BY PETER HEINLEIN (MOSCOW)
  • [07] TURKEY / HUMAN RIGHTS BY KYLE KING (ANKARA)
  • [08] U-S / I-R-A (L-ONLY) BY ANDRE DE NESNERA (LONDON)

  • [01] CZECH / SLOVAK BY ART CHIMES (PRAGUE)

    DATE=10/9/97
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-37743
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: ALMOST FIVE YEARS AFTER CZECHOSLOVAKIA SPLIT UP IN WHAT IS CALLED THE "VELVET DIVORCE," SLOVAKIA AND THE CZECH REPUBLIC HAVE GROWN APART, SEPARATED BY NOT JUST CULTURAL DIFFERENCES, BUT BY DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO DEMOCRACY AND A MARKET ECONOMY. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT ART CHIMES IN PRAGUE TAKES A LOOK AT THE TWO COUNTRIES, AS CZECH AND SLOVAK LEADERS PREPARE TO MEET TOMORROW (FRIDAY).

    TEXT: THE MEETING BETWEEN CZECH PRIME MINISTER VACLAV KLAUS AND HIS SLOVAK COUNTERPART, VLADIMIR MECIAR, IS UNUSUAL. FOR FRIENDLY NEIGHBORS WHO USED TO BE CITIZENS OF THE SAME COUNTRY, THE CZECH AND SLOVAK LEADERS DO NOT MEET ALL THAT OFTEN. IT MAY BE BECAUSE THEY DO NOT HAVE MUCH TO TALK ABOUT.

    DESPITE RECENT PROCLAMATIONS ABOUT SLOVAKIA'S INTENTIONS TO JOIN WESTERN INSTITUTIONS, THE COUNTRY IN MANY RESPECTS IS FAR BEHIND THE CZECH REPUBLIC. THE CZECHS ALREADY BELONG TO THE ORGANIZATION FOR ECONOMIC COOPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT, THE O-E-C-D, AND ARE ON THEIR WAY TO BEING IN THE FIRST GROUP OF FORMERLY COMMUNIST COUNTRIES TO JOIN NATO AND THE EUROPEAN UNION. SLOVAKIA IS UNLIKELY TO BE INVITED ANY TIME SOON.

    THE CZECHS AND SLOVAKS PARTED WAYS IN 1993. ALAN LEVY, EDITOR OF THE ENGLISH-LANGUAGE PRAGUE POST AND A LONG-TIME OBSERVER OF AFFAIRS HERE, SAYS THE BREAK-UP GAVE THE CZECHS GREAT ADVANTAGES.

    /// LEVY ACTUALITY ///

    THE CZECHS MOVED, THE SLOVAKS STOOD STILL. THE CZECHS GAINED A LOT, AS IT TURNED OUT, WHEN YOU DEAL WITH IT ONLY PRAGMATICALLY, BY LOSING A PART OF THE NATION WITH 17 PERCENT UNEMPLOYMENT (AT A TIME WHEN THEIR OWN UNEMPLOYMENT WAS NO HIGHER THAN THREE-POINT-FOUR PERCENT). THEY LOST THE UKRAINE AS A NUCLEAR NEIGHBOR.

    /// OPT ///

    THEY LOST HUNGARY AS A NEIGHBOR THAT WAS VERY DISSATISFIED WITH WHAT WAS HAPPENING WITH THE GABCIKOVA DAM. /// END OPT ///

    IT'S ALL BEEN A PLUS FOR THE CZECHS.

    /// END ACTUALITY ///

    THE CZECHS HAVE OTHER GEOGRAPHIC ADVANTAGES -- THE COUNTRY IS CLOSER TO THE WEALTHY MARKETS OF THE WEST. AND THEY HAVE PRAGUE, ONE OF EUROPE'S MOST BEAUTIFUL CITIES AND A MECCA FOR TOURISTS AND DEAL MAKERS. BRATISLAVA IS A PLEASANT CITY, BUT PRAGUE IS A GEM. IT IS NO WONDER TENS OF THOUSANDS OF WESTERNERS CAME TO LIVE IN PRAGUE -- TO WORK, STUDY OR JUST PLAY. THERE IS NOTHING LIKE IT IN BRATISLAVA.

    THE CZECHS HAVE LEVERAGED THEIR ADVANTAGES WITH A FIRM COMMITMENT TO DEMOCRACY AND AN EXPANDING FREE MARKET ECONOMY. THE CZECH REPUBLIC'S ROBUST DEMOCRACY REMAINS THE MOST DRAMATIC AREA OF CONTRAST WITH SLOVAKIA, WHERE PARLIAMENT RECENTLY DEFIED AN ORDER OF THE COUNTRY'S HIGH COURT ON A POLITICAL ISSUE INVOLVING A MAVERICK POLITICIAN (FRANTISEK GAULIEDER), IN A BIG SETBACK FOR THE RULE OF LAW.

    ON THE ECONOMIC SIDE, PRIVATIZATION MAY STILL BE A WORK IN PROGRESS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC, BUT IT IS FAR AHEAD OF SLOVAKIA.

    THE SITUATION IN SLOVAKIA SEEMS BLEAK. BUT ALAN LEVY, THE PRAGUE POST EDITOR, SEES SOME HOPE, SAYING THE PROBLEM IS WITH THE POLITICIANS.

    /// LEVY ACTUALITY ///

    ON THE OTHER HAND, THE SLOVAK PEOPLE ARE VERY RESOURCEFUL PEOPLE, VERY CLEVER, VERY GOOD PEOPLE, IF YOU CAN GENERALIZE ABOUT A NATION. AND THEY'RE CAPABLE OF IMPROVISING SOMETHING BETTER THAN WHAT THEY'VE GOT ON THEIR TABLE NOW.

    /// END ACTUALITY ///

    OTHER OBSERVERS SEE HOPE, TOO. BUT FOR NOW, SLOVAKIA STANDS CLEARLY IN THE SHADOW OF ITS RICHER AND MORE DEMOCRATIC CZECH NEIGHBORS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/ART/JWH/KL
    09-Oct-97 12:16 PM EDT (1616 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] EURO STOCKS (S-ONLY) BY PAUL FRANCUCH (LONDON)

    DATE=10/9/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-221056
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK AND BOND PRICES FELL SHARPLY ON KEY EUROPEAN MARKETS THURSDAY IN THE WAKE OF INTEREST RATE HIKES AND DISQUIETING MARKET NEWS FROM AMERICA. PAUL FRANCUCH HAS THURSDAY'S CLOSING FIGURES FROM LONDON.

    TEXT: ALL THREE BIG MARKETS IN WESTERN EUROPE -- FRANKFURT, LONDON AND PARIS -- SAW SHARP FALLS IN THEIR KEY STOCK INDEXES. THE BIGGEST DROP WAS ON THE GERMAN "DAX 30" INDEX, WHICH LOST MORE THAN 104-POINTS AT THE CLOSE. THE GERMAN CENTRAL BANK RAISED INTEREST (REPURCHASE) RATES, AS THEY ARE CALLED, FROM THREE TO THREE-POINT-THREE PERCENT. THAT SENT THE MARK SOARING AND STOCKS TUMBLING.

    THE FRENCH CENTRAL BANK RAISED WHAT IT CALLS -- THE INTERVENTION RATE OF INTEREST TO THREE-POINT-THREE PERCENT AS WELL -- UP FROM THREE-POINT-ONE PERCENT, WHICH HELPED THE FRANC BUT SENT STOCKS TRACKED BY THE "CAC 40" DOWN MORE THAN 63-POINTS AT THE CLOSE. IN LONDON, THE CENTRAL BANK LEFT INTEREST RATES ALONE, BUT THE "FINANCIAL TIMES" 100 INDEX OF STOCKS STILL LOST GROUND, DROPPING 44-AND-ONE-HALF POINTS AT THE CLOSE.

    GOLD PRICES IN LONDON GAINED ONE-DOLLAR-15 CENTS AN OUNCE TO CLOSE AT 333-DOLLARS-75 CENTS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PCF/RAE
    09-Oct-97 2:16 PM EDT (1816 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] ITALY / POLITICS (L-ONLY) BY PEGGY POLK (ROME)

    DATE=10/9/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-221048
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER ROMANO PRODI ANNOUNCED HIS RESIGNATION THURSDAY, AFTER HIS GOVERNMENT LOST THE SUPPORT OF A COMMUNIST PARTY ALLY ON A CRUCIAL BUDGET VOTE. AS PEGGY POLK REPORTS FROM ROME, MR. PRODI WILL STAY ON IN A CARETAKER CAPACITY WHILE THE PRESIDENT OF ITALY CONSULTS WITH POLITICAL LEADERS.

    TEXT: DURING HIS 17 MONTHS AS HEAD OF ITALY'S FIRST LEFTIST-LED GOVERNMENT SINCE WORLD WAR TWO, ROMANO PRODI DID MUCH TO PREPARE ITALY FOR MEMBERSHIP IN THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND MONETARY UNION.

    BUT IT WAS A FIGHT ALL THE WAY BECAUSE HE NEEDED THE SUPPORT IN THE CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES -- THE LOWER HOUSE OF PARLIAMENT -- OF THE HARD-LINE COMMUNIST "REFOUNDATION" PARTY.

    THE LOSS OF THAT SUPPORT ON HIS PROPOSED 1998 BUDGET FORCED THE PRIME MINISTER TO SUBMIT HIS RESIGNATION TO ITALIAN PRESIDENT OSCAR LUIGI SCALFARO. THE PRESIDENT ASKED MR. PRODI TO STAY AS A CARETAKER DURING POLITICAL CONSULTATIONS THAT COULD END IN ELECTIONS THREE AND A HALF YEARS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE.

    FORMER PRIME MINISTER SILVIO BERLUSCONI -- LEADER OF THE CENTER-RIGHT OPPOSITION -- CALLED FOR FORMATION OF A BROAD COALITION GOVERNMENT TO ENACT PENDING INSTITUTIONAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL REFORMS AND ENSURE ITALY'S EARLY ENTRY INTO THE E-M-U (EUROPEAN MONETARY UNION). BUT DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER WALTER VELTRONI SAID HE BELIEVED THE ONLY SOLUTION WAS EARLY ELECTIONS.

    THE GOVERNMENT SOUGHT TO CUT TWO-POINT-NINE-BILLION DOLLARS FROM SPENDING ON WELFARE AND PENSIONS IN THE 1998 BUDGET. THE COMMUNISTS DEMANDED CONCESSIONS ON PENSIONS, HEALTH CARE, JOB CREATION, A SHORTER WORK WEEK AND PRIVATIZATION.

    MR. PRODI OFFERED TO ACCEPT A SHORTER WORK WEEK AND DELAY PRIVATIZATION OF THE STATE-OWNED UTILITY "ENEL."

    BUT THE COMMUNISTS TURNED THUMBS DOWN (REJECTED THE MOVE), MAKING THE GOVERNMENT'S DEFEAT ON WHAT AMOUNTED TO A VOTE OF CONFIDENCE INEVITABLE. THE VOTE WAS SUSPENDED WHEN MR. PRODI ANNOUNCED HIS RESIGNATION. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PP/PCF/RRM
    09-Oct-97 1:18 PM EDT (1718 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)

    DATE=10/9/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-221067
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES WERE DOWN TODAY (THURSDAY) BUT THE DAY'S EARLY LOSSES WERE CUT LATE IN THE SESSION. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT BRECK ARDERY REPORTS FROM NEW YORK.

    TEXT: THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSED AT EIGHT-THOUSAND-61, DOWN 33 POINTS. THE STANDARD AND POOR'S 500 INDEX CLOSED AT 970, DOWN THREE POINTS.

    STOCKS BEGAN THE DAY DOWN SHARPLY BUT RECOVERED MUCH OF THE LOSSES BY THE CLOSE OF TRADING.

    ANALYSTS SAY THERE WAS STILL SOME UNEASINESS ON WALL STREET ABOUT WEDNESDAY'S COMMENTS FROM THE HEAD OF THE U-S CENTRAL BANK, ALAN GREENSPAN. HE SAID IT IS "UNREALISTIC" TO EXPECT STOCK PRICES TO CONTINUE THEIR SPECTACULAR GAINS OF THE PAST FEW YEARS.

    BUT TRADERS WERE SOOTHED SOMEWHAT BY COMMENTS THURSDAY FROM ALICE RIVLIN, THE VICE CHAIR OF THE CENTRAL BANK. SHE INDICATED THE U-S ECONOMY MAY BEGIN TO SLOW, SUGGESTING PERHAPS THAT THE CENTRAL BANK WILL NOT RAISE INTEREST RATES.

    THE NUMBER OF AMERICANS FILING CLAIMS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS DROPPED LAST WEEK, FURTHER EVIDENCE THAT THE U-S LABOR MARKET IS VERY STRONG.

    ///REST OPT///

    THE GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY REPORTED RECORD QUARTERLY PROFITS OF JUST OVER TWO-BILLION DOLLARS. G-E SAYS STRONG ORDERS FOR AIRCRAFT ENGINES AND EARNINGS FROM RECENT ACQUISITIONS HELPED PUSH PROFITS UP.

    THE FORD MOTOR COMPANY IS GIVING ITS STOCKHOLDERS A BONUS BY SPINNING OFF ITS CONTROLLING INTEREST IN THE ASSOCIATES FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPANY. FORD STOCKHOLDERS WILL RECEIVE ONE SHARE OF STOCK IN ASSOCIATES FOR EVERY FOUR SHARES OF FORD STOCK THEY OWN.

    THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS AT THE M-C-I TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANY MEETS FRIDAY TO CONSIDER WHAT COULD BE THE LARGEST CORPORATE TAKEOVER IN U-S HISTORY. THE WORLDCOM CORPORATION IS OFFERING TO BUY M-C-I IN A DEAL WORTH ALMOST 35-BILLION DOLLARS. (SIGNED) NEB/NY/BA/LSF/RRM
    09-Oct-97 4:50 PM EDT (2050 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=10/09/97
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-10385
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=
    // EDITORS, PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS PERISHABLE MATERIAL AND BECOMES DATED AFTER 10 P-M E-D-T ON THURSDAY OCTOBER 9TH //

    INTRO: THINGS HAVE MOVED IN UNEXPECTED DIRECTIONS IN THE MIDDLE EAST SINCE THE BOTCHED ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT ON A HAMAS OFFICIAL BY ISRAELI AGENTS IN JORDAN. THIS PARADOXICAL SITUATION IS A FAVORITE TOPIC OF THE NATION'S EDITORIAL WRITERS THIS THURSDAY. OTHER SUBJECTS UNDER DISCUSSION INCLUDE THE FATE OF CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM LEGISLATION IN CONGRESS; THE CONTROVERSY OVER VIDEOTAPE OF WHITE HOUSE GATHERINGS FOR POLITICAL PARTY DONORSZ; THE PROMISE KEEPERS RALLY; SOME STRANGE EFFECTS OF EL NINO AND THE DISCOVERY OF A GIANT STAR NEAR THE CENTER OF THE GALAXY.

    HERE NOW WITH SOME SPECIFIC COMMENTS ON ALL THIS IS _______________AND TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: SEVERAL PAPERS ARE NOTING THAT IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT AND THE RESULTING FUROR IN ISRAEL AND ELSEWHERE, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU AND PALESTINIAN LEADER YASSER ARAFAT HAVE SUDDENLY BEGUN MOVING TOWARD REESTABLISHING THE PEACE TALKS. HERE'S SOME OF WHAT THE NEW YORK TIMES HAS TO SAY.

    VOICE: "NO ONE EXPECTED THE BOTCHED ISRAELI ASSASSINATION ... TO HELP REVITALIZE PEACE TALKS WITH THE PALESTINIANS. BUT THAT SEEMS TO HAVE HAPPENED. YESTERDAY ISRAEL'S PRIME MINISTER, BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, AND THE PALESTINIAN LEADER, YASSER ARAFAT, HELD THEIR FIRST FACE-TO-FACE MEETING IN EIGHT MONTHS.... THIS COMBINATION OF EVENTS -- ISRAELI EMBARRASSMENT OVER THE ATTEMPTED ASSASSINATION AND [HAMAS FOUNDER] SHEIK YASSIN'S REEMERGENCE ON THE SCENE -- SEEMS TO HAVE JOLTED MR. NETANYAHU AND MR. ARAFAT INTO A STARKER APPRECIATION OF THE DANGERS THAT LIE BEFORE THEM.... IT IS JUST POSSIBLE THAT THIS WEEK'S VISIBLE STRENGTHENING OF HAMAS REMINDED ISRAELI LEADERS THAT MR. ARAFAT, FLAWED THOUGH HE IS, STILL REPRESENTS THEIR ONLY AVAILABLE NEGOTIATING PARTNER.... [OPT] IT HAS BEEN A ROLLER-COASTER [VERY UP AND DOWN] WEEK, BUT IT IS ENDING WITH HOPES OF A NEW BEGINNING TOWARD ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN PEACE."

    TEXT: THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER IS STILL UPSET ABOUT THE ATTEMPT ITSELF, AND THE QUESTIONS IT RAISES ABOUT ISRAEL'S LEADERSHIP.

    VOICE: "ISRAEL'S BOTCHED ASSASSINATION ... RAISES TROUBLING QUESTIONS ABOUT THE POLITICAL JUDGMENT OF PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU ON MATTERS OF DEEP CONCERN TO AMERICA AND ISRAEL. THE QUESTIONS CENTER ON WHY MR. NETANYAHU AUTHORIZED THE RAID IN THE FIRST PLACE, NOT JUST ON ITS DISASTROUS CONSEQUENCES.... WHY DID MR. NETANYAHU RISK UNDERMINING ISRAEL'S RELATIONSHIP WITH JORDAN'S KING HUSSEIN, WHO HAS BEEN UNSTINTING IN HIS COMMITMENT TO PEACE WITH ISRAEL? WHAT KIND OF STRATEGY WOULD RISK SO MUCH FOR AN OPERATION THAT COULD REAP SO LITTLE? .... SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE ALBRIGHT ... MUST MAKE CLEAR -- IN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE -- AMERICA'S DISMAY WHEN MR. NETANYAHU'S ACTIONS THREATENED MIDEAST SECURITY."

    TEXT: TURNING TO THE BURNING DOMESTIC ISSUE OF CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES SAYS IT WAS: "A SHAMEFUL FAILURE IN THE SENATE" WHEN THAT BODY REFUSED YESTERDAY TO PASS THE MCCAIN-FEINGOLD CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM BILL, BUT THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER INSISTS THAT THE BATTLE IS NOT FINISHED, ADDING:

    VOICE: "JOHN MCCAIN AND RUSS FEINGOLD STILL HAVE A FIGHTING CHANCE TO DRAIN THE SWAMP OF SPECIAL-INTEREST MONEY ON CAPITOL HILL. TRUE, THE SENATORS' BILL DIDN'T HAVE ENOUGH VOTES MONDAY OR YESTERDAY TO BREAK A FILIBUSTER, AND SENATE REPUBLICANS HAVE LOTS OF PARLIAMENTARY ROADBLOCKS LEFT. BUT THERE'S ALSO A STRONG FORCE IN FAVOR OF THE REFORMERS. FEW POLITICIANS WANT TO STAND UP AND DEFEND A CORRUPT STATUS QUO THAT MAKES INCUMBENTS VIRTUALLY UNBEATABLE -- AND INDEBTS THEM TO THE SPECIAL INTERESTS THAT WRITE THE CHECKS.... IF THE SENATE QUITS FOR THE YEAR WITHOUT A STRAIGHTFORWARD, UP-OR-DOWN VOTE ON THAT, PRESIDENT CLINTON, WARTS (PROBLEMS) AND ALL, OUGHT TO CALL CONGRESS INTO A SPECIAL SESSION AND DEMAND IT."

    TEXT: IN RELATED COMMENT, CONCERNING THE RELEASE OF WHITE HOUSE VIDEOTAPES OF PRESIDENT CLINTON GREETING WEALTHY PARTY DONORS AT A SERIES OF WHITE HOUSE COFFEES, OR INFORMAL MEETINGS, THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR SAYS OF THE TAPES:

    VOICE: "....THEY PROVIDE HARD EVIDENCE OF THE QUESTIONABLE RELATIONSHIPS AND THE LUST FOR CAMPAIGN DOLLARS WE'VE ALREADY LEARNED ABOUT. ... THEY GRAPHICALLY PORTRAY THE TIME SPENT SPONGING SUCH MONEY BY A PRESIDENT WHO SHOULD HAVE BEEN OCCUPIED WITH MORE IMPORTANT MATTERS. .... THEY BOLSTER CHARGES THAT THE ADMINISTRATION HAS NOT BEEN FORTHCOMING WITH EVIDENCE RELATED TO QUESTIONABLE FUND-RAISING PRACTICES."

    TEXT: THE SUN IN BALTIMORE IS COMMENTING ON LAST WEEKEND'S PROMISE KEEPERS RALLY IN WASHINGTON OF AN ESTIMATED HALF-A-MILLION CHRISTIAN MEN.

    VOICE: "LIKE THE MILLION MAN MARCH THAT PRECEDED IT, THE GREATEST IMPACT OF LAST SATURDAY'S PROMISE KEEPERS RALLY WILL OCCUR WITH INDIVIDUAL ACTS OF GOODNESS. LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCES MOTIVATED THE HUGE OUTPOURING OF MEN AT THE CHRISTIAN EVENT. FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES WILL BE BETTER IF PARTICIPANTS FULFILL THEIR PLEDGES TO ACT RESPONSIBLY. IF THERE IS ANY GROUP ACTION OF LASTING RELEVANCE, IT MAY BE POLITICAL.... PROMISE KEEPERS' LEADERS INSIST POLITICS HAS NEVER BEEN A MOTIVATING FACTOR. YET THEY CANNOT DENY THAT RECRUITED PROMISE KEEPERS WHO BECOME POLITICALLY ACTIVE ARE MORE LIKELY TO JOIN THE PARTY THAT COMES CLOSEST TO SHARING THEIR MORAL VIEWPOINT ... THE REPUBLICAN PARTY...."

    TEXT: THE UNPREDICTABLE WEATHER PATTERN CALLED EL NINO COMES IN FOR SOME COMMENT FROM TODAY'S WALL STREET JOURNAL.

    VOICE: "NO DAY PASSES WITHOUT MORE AMAZING UPDATES ON EL NINO, THE O-J SIMPSON OF THE WEATHER CHANNEL, AND WE ARE ONLY EXAGGERATING SLIGHTLY. THE GRAND CANYON HAS NOT YET FILLED UP WITH LOCUSTS AND BLOOD. BUT THERE'S NO DOUBT THAT A REMARKABLE CROSS SECTION OF HUMAN BEINGS, FROM GRAIN ANALYSTS, ROOFERS, SCIENTISTS, FISHERMEN, ..... TO BORDEAUX VINTNERS, ANT-KILLERS, UNCLE SAM AND SPECULATORS HAVE ALL FOUND EL NINO A RICH AND CLARIFYING TOPIC OF CONVERSATION.... DRY SUNNY WEATHER MEANS SO MUCH WINE THEY'RE RUNNING OUT OF BOTTLES IN BORDEAUX. MEANWHILE, FEROCIOUS ANTS FROM ARGENTINA ARE CRAWLING OVER LOS ANGELES ENERGIZING EXTERMINATORS..... MARK TWAIN, WHO FAMOUSLY COMPLAINED THAT MANY PEOPLE TALK ABOUT THE WEATHER BUT NOBODY DOES ANYTHING ABOUT IT, WOULD BE THRILLED."

    TEXT: FINALLY, A GIANT STAR, MANY TIMES LARGER THAN OUR OWN SUN, HAS BEEN DISCOVERED BY THE PROBING CAMERAS OF THE HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE, DRAWING THIS AWED COMMENT FROM THE LOS ANGELES TIMES.

    VOICE: "THE SUN'S BLINDING GLARE WOULD BE BUT A GLIMMER NEXT TO THE PISTOL STAR, 10-MILLION TIMES BRIGHTER THAN OUR OWN STAR, YET FROM EARTH WE CANNOT SEE ANY HINT OF IT. THE MASSIVE STAR -- THE BIGGEST DISCOVERED SO FAR -- SITS NEAR THE CENTER OF THE MILKY WAY GALAXY BUT IS OBSCURED BY 25-THOUSAND LIGHT YEARS OF INTERVENING INTERSTELLAR DUST.... PISTOL'S EXISTENCE ALREADY CHALLENGES EXISTING THEORIES ABOUT THE FORMATION OF STARS.... SCIENTISTS EXPECT THAT PISTOL WILL EXPLODE IN A SUPERNOVA IN ANOTHER ONE MILLION TO THREE MILLION YEARS. WE'LL HAVE TO TAKE THEIR WORD FOR IT."

    TEXT: ON THAT CELESTIAL NOTE, WE CONCLUDE THIS BRIEF SAMPLING OF EDITORIAL COMMENT FROM THURSDAY'S U-S PRESS.
    NEB/ANG/MMK
    09-Oct-97 11:12 AM EDT (1512 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] RUSSIA/SOROS (L ONLY) BY PETER HEINLEIN (MOSCOW)

    DATE=10/9/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-221055
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: AMERICAN PHILANTHROPIST GEORGE SOROS SAYS HE WILL INCREASE HIS CHARITABLE SPENDING IN RUSSIA IN AN ATTEMPT, AS HE PUTS IT, TO FOSTER DEMOCRACY. PETER HEINLEIN IN MOSCOW REPORTS MR. SOROS IS ON A TWO-WEEK TOUR TO MARK THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF HIS FIRST CHARITABLE INITIATIVES IN WHAT WAS THEN THE SOVIET UNION.

    TEXT: GEORGE SOROS IS SHARPLY CRITICAL OF POST-SOVIET RUSSIA. HE SAYS THE ROBBER CAPITALISM OF THE FIRST FEW YEARS HAS GIVEN WAY TO A FINANCIAL OLIGARCHY -- THE RULE OF THE RICH.

    BUT HE IS ALSO ONE OF RUSSIA'S HEAVIEST INVESTORS.

    AFTER SOME INITIAL HESITATION, THE HUNGARIAN-BORN FINANCIER'S BET ON RUSSIA'S FUTURE SUCCESS NOW TOTALS MORE THAN TWO-BILLION DOLLARS. THAT IS ROUGHLY 10-PERCENT OF THE TOTAL ASSETS OF HIS "QUANTUM INVESTMENT FUND." HE ALSO HAS GIVEN 350-MILLION DOLLARS TO A VAST ARRAY OF PROJECTS DESIGNED TO PROMOTE THE GROWTH OF RUSSIAN DEMOCRACY.

    AT A GATHERING TO MARK 10-YEARS OF HIS PHILANTHROPIC WORK, MR. SOROS WAS TREATED TO A MULTI-MEDIA PRESENTATION WHICH OUTLINED THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF HIS HIGHLY-ACCLAIMED PROGRAM TO BRING THE ONCE-SECRETIVE STATE INTO THE INFORMATION AGE.

    /// SOUND EFFECTS OF MUSIC, THEN FADE AND HOLD... ///

    AS OLD NEWSREEL IMAGES OF SOVIET LEADERS LENIN AND STALIN FLICKERED ACROSS THE GIANT SCREEN, PROJECT DIRECTOR MICHAEL KAY EXPLAINED HOW HISTORICAL ARCHIVES HAVE BEEN PRESERVED ON CD-ROM.

    /// ACT OF FILM ///

    THROUGH ELECTRONIC PRODUCTION, STORAGE AND DISSEMINATION, THESE IMAGES WILL BE SAVED NOT JUST FOR US, BUT FOR GENERATIONS TO COME.

    /// END ACT //

    MR. SOROS EXPRESSED SATISFACTION WITH THE INFORMATION PROJECT, BUT HE SAID HIS FUTURE CHARITABLE PROJECTS WILL FOCUS MORE ON HALTING THE DECLINE OF RUSSIA'S SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS.

    /// SOROS ACT ///

    IN RUSSIA, THE STATE EFFECTIVELY HAS COLLAPSED, AND MANY OF THE FUNCTIONS THE STATE USED TO PERFORM ARE NOW NOT PERFORMED. THE ... HEALTH SITUATION IN RUSSIA IN MY JUDGMENT, AND I THINK IN THE JUDGMENT OF EXPERTS, HAS REACHED CATASTROPHIC PROPORTIONS.

    /// END ACT ///

    ///OPT///

    MR. SOROS SAID HE WAS SHOCKED BY STATISTICS SHOWING THE SHARP DECLINE IN LIFE EXPECTANCY FOR RUSSIANS, SINCE THE COLLAPSE OF THE SOVIET STATE. HE SAID HE HAS ALREADY DECIDED TO SPEND MILLIONS ON TWO PROJECTS -- ONE TO FIGHT TUBERCULOSIS, THE OTHER TO CONTROL THE SPREAD OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES.

    /// SECOND SOROS ACT ///

    FOR THE NEXT THREE YEARS, I WOULD LIKE TO DEVOTE A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF MONEY TO HELPING TO IMPROVE HEALTH CONDITIONS IN RUSSIA.

    /// END ACT // END OPT ///

    MR. SOROS WILL SPEND THE NEXT TWO WEEKS TOURING RUSSIA'S HEARTLAND TO SEE HOW BAD HEALTH CARE SERVICES ARE. HE SAID HE IS PREPARED TO SPEND MORE THAN 100-MILLION DOLLARS DURING A THREE-YEAR PERIOD FOR WHAT HE CALLED PERMANENT IMPROVEMENTS.

    /// REST OPT ///

    BUT HE SAID THIS AMOUNT IS FAR TOO SMALL, AND SAID HE IS LOOKING FOR OTHER INVESTORS, BOTH CHARITABLE AND FOR-PROFIT, TO HELP REVERSE THE ALARMING DECLINE IN RUSSIA'S HEALTH. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PFH/PCF/RAE
    09-Oct-97 2:05 PM EDT (1805 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [07] TURKEY / HUMAN RIGHTS BY KYLE KING (ANKARA)

    DATE=10/9/97
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-37741
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATES IN TURKEY SAY THEIR WORK HAS GROWN INCREASINGLY DIFFICULT BECAUSE OF WHAT THEY CALL A GOVERNMENT CAMPAIGN OF HARASSMENT AND INTIMIDATION AIMED AT SILENCING ITS CRITICS. V-O-A'S KYLE KING REPORTS FROM ANKARA.

    TEXT: THE HEAD OF THE ANKARA BRANCH OF TURKEY'S HUMAN RIGHTS ASSOCIATION SAYS SHE EXPECTS TO GO TO PRISON SOON.

    THE HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICIAL, YILDIZ TEMURTURKAN, HAS BEEN IN DETENTION BEFORE BECAUSE OF HER HUMAN RIGHTS WORK. SHE IS NOW ON TRIAL FOR PROTESTING THE GOVERNMENT'S CLOSURE OF ONE OF HER GROUP'S OFFICES.

    /// TEMURTURKAN ACT ///

    WHEN OUR DIYARBAKIR BRANCH WAS CLOSED, WE SENT A TELEGRAM TO THE GOVERNOR, AND NOW WE HAVE BEEN PUT ON TRIAL BECAUSE THEY SAY WE DID NOT GET PERMISSION FROM THE GOVERNMENT TO SEND THIS TELEGRAM FROM THE POST OFFICE. SO WE CANNOT PROTEST THE GOVERNMENT. WE CANNOT PROTEST THE GOVERNOR. WE CANNOT PROTEST THE SECURITY FORCES. WE CAN'T EVEN CRITICIZE THEM. IF WE CRITICIZE THEM, IF WE SAY PEOPLE WERE TORTURED IN CUSTODY, THAT'S THE REASON WE WILL GO ON TRIAL.

    /// END ACT ///

    TURKEY, WHICH HAS BEEN FIGHTING A BLOODY 13 YEAR WAR WITH SEPARATIST KURDISH REBELS IN THE SOUTHEAST OF THE COUNTRY, SAYS TOUGH SECURITY LAWS ARE NEEDED TO FIGHT THE TERRORISTS.

    BUT CRITICS, INCLUDING MANY EUROPEAN GOVERNMENTS, SAY TURKISH SECURITY FORCES HAVE EXHIBITED A PATTERN OF TORTURE, POLITICAL KILLINGS, AND POLICE ABUSES. THIS 17 -YEAR-OLD STUDENT -- WHO ASKED NOT TO BE IDENTIFIED -- SAYS HE AND HIS FRIENDS WERE DETAINED BY POLICE LAST WEEK FOR ALLEGEDLY DISTRIBUTING LEAFLETS AT HIS HIGH SCHOOL.

    /// STUDENT ACT - TURKISH - FADE UNDER ///

    THE POLICE BEAT ME BADLY, THE BOY SAYS. THERE WAS BLOOD ALL OVER THE PLACE. LATER, HE SAYS, HE MANAGED TO PHONE HIS PARENTS FROM A ROOM WHERE HE WAS BEING HELD, AND HE WAS RELEASED FROM DETENTION AFTER ABOUT EIGHT HOURS.

    TURKISH OFFICIALS ACKNOWLEDGE THERE HAVE BEEN HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES IN THE PAST AND THEY SAY THEY ARE ADDRESSING THE PROBLEM. OFFICIALS -- WHO HOPE TURKEY ONE DAY WILL BE ABLE TO JOIN THE EUROPEAN UNION -- ARE SENSITIVE TO WESTERN COMPLAINTS. FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN SERMET ATACANLI SAYS TURKEY ACCEPTS SOME CRITICISM OF ITS HUMAN RIGHTS RECORD, BUT NOT ALL.

    /// ATACANLI ACT ///

    SOME OF THE CRITICISM ORIGINATING FROM EUROPE, WE FEEL IS A LITTLE UNFAIR OR BASED ON PREJUDICES OR SOME ULTERIOR MOTIVES. BUT WE ARE WILLING TO ACCEPT FAIR CRITICISMS AND WE ARE WORKING ON IT.

    /// END ACT ///

    HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATES SAY NOT ENOUGH IS BEING DONE. THEY SAY CASES OF TORTURE AND ABUSE BY TURKISH POLICE ARE WIDESPREAD AND SYSTEMATIC. AND THEY SAY THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT MAKING A SERIOUS EFFORT TO PROSECUTE HIGH-RANKING OFFICIALS WHO TOLERATED OR ORDERED THE ABUSES.

    HUMAN RIGHTS ASSOCIATION CHAIRWOMAN YILDIZ TEMURTURKAN, WHO NOW FACES UP TO SIX YEARS IN JAIL, SAYS HER GROUP CANNOT EVEN HELP THE VICTIMS ANY MORE, BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT HAS TURNED ITS ATTENTION TO ITS ACCUSERS.

    /// TEMURTURKAN ACT ///

    WE GO TO THE COURT TWICE OR THREE TIMES IN A WEEK. THIS IS TOO MUCH FOR US. WE CANNOT DO ANYTHING FOR VICTIMS OF VIOLATIONS BECAUSE WE ARE ENGAGED WITH DEFENDING OURSELVES NOW.

    /// END ACT ///

    WHETHER SHE WILL BE COMPLETELY BLOCKED FROM DOING HER WORK WILL PROBABLY BE DECIDED LATER THIS MONTH, WHEN A VERDICT IS EXPECTED IN HER COURT CASE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/KBK/JWH/EH
    09-Oct-97 6:17 AM EDT (1017 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [08] U-S / I-R-A (L-ONLY) BY ANDRE DE NESNERA (LONDON)

    DATE=10/9/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-221037
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: PRO-BRITISH POLITICIANS IN NORTHERN IRELAND HAVE EXPRESSED ANGER AT THE U-S DECISION TO DROP THE IRISH REPUBLICAN ARMY FROM ITS LIST OF BANNED TERRORIST GROUPS. V-O-A'S ANDRE DE NESNERA REPORTS FROM LONDON.

    TEXT: THE STATE DEPARTMENT LIST OF 30 BANNED TERRORIST GROUPS INCLUDES WELL-KNOWN ORGANIZATIONS SUCH AS HAMAS, THE BASQUE GROUP E-T-A, PERU'S SHINING PATH, AND THE PRO-IRANIAN HIZBOLLAH. IT DOES NOT INCLUDE NORTHERN IRELAND'S IRISH REPUBLICAN ARMY.

    THE OMISSION OF THE I-R-A HAS ANGERED MANY PRO-BRITISH POLITICIANS IN NORTHERN IRELAND -- INCLUDING KEN MAGINNIS, SECURITY SPOKESMAN FOR THE PROVINCE'S LARGEST PARTY, THE ULSTER UNIONISTS.

    /// MAGINNIS ACT ///

    IT STRIKES US AS NAIVE WHEN YOU CONSIDER THAT IT IS ONLY A MATTER OF A FEW WEEKS SINCE THIS ORGANIZATION WALKED UP BEHIND TWO COMMUNITY POLICEMEN IN NORTHERN IRELAND, PUT A GUN TO THE BACK OF THEIR HEADS, AND BLEW THEIR BRAINS OUT. THAT MAY SOUND CRUDE, BUT THAT IS THE LEVEL OF ACTIVITY THAT THE I-R-A HAS BEEN GUILTY OF.

    /// END ACT ///

    A STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN SAID THE I-R-A'S STATUS WILL BE KEPT UNDER REVIEW. HE ALSO NOTED THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT HAD ACCEPTED AS GENUINE THE I-R-A CEASEFIRE IN PLACE SINCE JULY.

    MR. MAGINNIS SAYS THE STATE DEPARTMENT'S DECISION WILL GIVE THE I-R-A A TREMENDOUS BOOST IN THE UNITED STATES.

    /// 2ND MAGINNIS ACT ///

    THE MOMENT YOU ACCEPT A CEASEFIRE AT FACE VALUE, WITHOUT SEEING ANY TANGIBLE EVIDENCE IN TERMS OF THE TERRORIST ORGANIZATION DISMANTLING ITSELF OR THE ILLEGAL WEAPONS BEING DECOMMISSIONED (HANDED IN), ONCE YOU TAKE THAT AT FACE VALUE, YOU IN FACT ARE ALLOWING PEOPLE THE RANGE, THE SCOPE AND THE FREEDOM TO BUILD NEW BASES -- I MEAN CONTACTS -- AND SO THE FREEDOM THAT THE I-R-A WILL HAVE WITHIN THE UNITED STATES OVER SAY THE NEXT SIX-MONTHS, IF WE ARE FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO SEE THE CEASEFIRE LAST AS LONG, WILL BE QUITE CONSIDERABLE. AND IT WILL BE SOMETHING THAT THE AUTHORITIES THERE WILL HAVE GREAT DIFFICULTY IN BREACHING IF THE CEASEFIRE FAILS.

    /// END ACT ///

    A SPOKESMAN FOR THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT SAID THE U-S DECISION TO OMIT THE I-R-A FROM THE LIST OF BANNED TERRORIST GROUPS IS A MATTER FOR THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION. BUT HE SAID BRITAIN WAS ASSURED IT WOULD BE REVERSED IF THE I-R-A RETURNED TO VIOLENCE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/ADEN/JWH/RAE
    09-Oct-97 11:07 AM EDT (1507 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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